`My Tailor? Kind Of A By The Numbers Type But Good'

Suits that are made to measure could move out of the luxury boutique and into the mall if a New York City company has its way. Dimensional Measurement Systems Inc. is commercializing a measurement technology that could offer lower-priced custom-tailored clothing in hours.

To start, white light is projected onto a subject from three directions. Digital cameras capture images from various angles, and a computer processes these inputs to get three-dimensional contours of the body. These measurements are sent to a computer-aided design (CAD) pattern maker, made by Microdynamics Inc. in Dallas, that modifies standard patterns for individual measurements. The CAD data are downloaded to an automatic fabric cutter, and the garment is sewn by a worker.

Prototype systems will be tested at a major retail chain later this year, says DMS President Peter M. Kuhlmann. He says the technique could also be used in place of plaster foot casts when doctors fashion corrective foot supports.

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